Generous or Parsimonious Cognitive Architecture? Cognitive Neuroscience and Theory of Mind
Authors: Gerrans, Philip; Stone, Valerie E.
Source: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Volume 59, Number 2, June 2008 , pp. 121-141(21)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Recent work in cognitive neuroscience on the child's Theory of Mind (ToM) has pursued the idea that the ability to metarepresent mental states depends on a domain-specific cognitive subystem implemented in specific neural circuitry: a Theory of Mind Module. We argue that the interaction of several domain-general mechanisms and lower-level domain-specific mechanisms accounts for the flexibility and sophistication of behavior, which has been taken to be evidence for a domain-specific ToM module. This finding is of more general interest since it suggests a parsimonious cognitive architecture can account for apparent domain specificity. We argue for such an architecture in two stages. First, on conceptual grounds, contrasting the case of language with ToM, and second, by showing that recent evidence in the form of fMRI and lesion studies supports the more parsimonious hypothesis.
Theory of Mind, Metarepresentation, and Modularity
Developmental Components of ToM
The Analogy with Modularity of Language
Dissociations without Modules
The Evidence from Neuroscience
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 2008
- For over fifty years The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science has published the best international work in the philosophy of science under a distinguished list of editors including A. C. Crombie, Mary Hesse, Imre Lakatos, D. H. Mellor and David Papineau.